[JURIST] The leader of last month’s attempted military coup in Burkina Faso, General Gilbert Diendere, was charged Friday with crimes against humanity. Prosecutor Col. Sita Sangare, Burkina Faso’s director of military justice said that he has charged 23 people [Reuters report] so far with charges ranging from murder and concealing the bodies of the dead to threatening state security and fraud. The prosecutors are also looking to charge Diendere’s wife for her part in the events. During the military coup attempt at least 11 people were killed and more than 250 injured. The coup started when Diendere took the president and his cabinet hostage right before elections last month. The election has been rescheduled for November 29.
Burkina Faso’s government has been the subject of intense upheaval for the past few years. Earlier in October the interim government said that Diendere would face a military tribunal after he was apprehended [JURIST report] for his role the week-long military coup. Diendere is associated with two other coups in the West-African nation, one in 1987 that marked the start of the 27-year rule of Blaise Compaore. Compaore resigned in October 2014 [BBC report] after a military takeover and protests against his plan to issue a constitutional amendment that would extend his 27-year term. In August Burkina Faso’s constitutional court rejected [JURIST report] a presidential candidate from Compaore’s Congress for Democracy and Progress Party, which marked the sixth time a candidate from that party had been rejected. In January Amnesty International urged the national government to investigate [JURIST report] excessive use of military force against anti-government protesters when Compaore exited from power.